Hey! Never thought you were listening to this common human being. Obviously, you’ve got a very BIG EAR! So, you heard my gripe about what kind of Pope, this opinionated one thought should wear Peter’s sandals. You gave me what I wanted and I hope it’s a good thing. Well, at least he seems to have started off right. Sincerely hope he can make the necessary changes, especially in this too-much-of-me-world.
Funny really, how Benedict’s successor really seems a down- to- earth, no frills Pontiff. At least, he uses public transport and acts normal. There’s a hope, he’ll make the needs of the poor a priority, and do this firmly, so nobody else can gainsay or hijack these Christian values. Still, hopefully, he’ll rethink certain contentious subjects, like can God love gay people? Or understand the dilemma women are in when it comes to unwanted pregnancies, the safety of using condoms and other contraceptives to stop the spread of HIV-AIDS? What do you think Jesus would say to all that?
Years ago, I used to get e-newsletters from a Catholic Church website and responded to certain articles uploaded on it. There’s one that sticks till today. It was about an international Catholic charity working in Africa that distributed condoms for HIV-AIDS prevention. Any lay person working with HIV victims would think that a commonsense measure and a mercy to those, especially women and children raped or sexually abused by those who exploit others for pleasure, or intentionally wield sexual violence as a weapon. Worse still, such violence can result not only in painful physical and psychological injury but in prolonged suffering and death through HIV-AIDS as well.
The shock came when those pious, well-meaning, highly educated Catholics condemned this charity in extremely harsh terms, taking a holier-than-thou stance. Did these people, who did not live in a war zone where the danger of violence and death are everyday hazards, even think about the consequences of their bigotry? There are many reports by various charities, international governmental and non-governmental organizations working in Africa and other impoverished countries where lawlessness is the law. Where human life is valued less than a prized pet’s. There are horrifying photographs of dead babies with crushed bodies, piles of dead bodies with hacked limbs…I needn’t go on. You probably know what I mean.
Yet, I wonder whatever was meant by “the love of God”? Does God like to see innocent human beings suffer so terribly? Does God not take pity on the child forced to become a killing machine at 12 or younger? Has God forsaken these the poor, the defenseless and the blameless? Didn’t Jesus himself forgive the woman caught in adultery ,when there seemed no condemnation of the man with whom she committed it?
These are questions without answers which Francis I, must find answers to, at this dangerous time where technology can serve any purpose, and the horror of mass massacre becomes daily news. For those who still live in a cotton-woolled world, while war rages outside, these losses are something remote and improbable . The sandals of the Fisherman must tread carefully with humility, discernment and unshakable faith, admitting all imperfection, yet doing its best to keep up with Christ.
- Pope Francis Pushes For a More Austere Catholic Church (lezgetreal.com)
- Leonardo Boff on Pope Francis (caelumetterra.wordpress.com)